[Marxism] on the Centre

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 6 18:53:35 MDT 2017

Aaron Bastani of Novara Media London has a link on his twitter feed to a
blog on Scottish politics <

There Peter McColl cobbles together Fukuyama's End of History thesis with
the notion that elections could only be won from the Centre. The now
retired leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Kezia Dugdale, was a centrist
and she was apparently astonished when in the last British election,
Corbyn's break with the centrist politics proved electorally popular.
McColl concludes that centrist politics are dead and that history is back.

McColl's article suffers from the weakness of a non-processual view of
reality. That leads one to think that concepts such as a Centre are fixed
and unchanging.

It is vital to reject such a view and to grasp that the Centre is an
abstract, geo-historical, relational concept.  Basically it is a cluster of
common sense ideas as to what is politically possible. It is formed in the
struggle between the social classes. It changes over time and space.

What is happening is that a new Centre is coming into being.

I am old enough to recall when the Centre was Keynesian.  That changed in
the 70s & 80s to the neo-liberal Centre. That change came out of brutal
struggles such as the Chilean Coup & the miners' strike in the UK.

In Australia we had our own very Aussie type of  Coup with the sacking of a
Keynesian treasurer, Jim Cairns on the 2nd July 1975 and then with the
dismissal of the Whitlam Labor Government on the 11th of November 1975. As
is the way with things, the history of the struggles was lost or
misunderstood or misinterpreted by the victors. The  truth is that the new
neo-liberal Centre came *into the world dripping* from head to foot,
from *every
pore*, with *blood and dirt*.  But alas the loss of history meant that the
new Centre was treated as if it fell from heaven upon the place beneath.

For those of us who are into conspiracy theories, Milton Friedman visited
Australia in April 1975.

Now we are seeing a swing back to something like a Keynesian Centre.  When
it takes root, if it does, a new common sense will take hold and once more
elections will be won from the Centre.



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